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Serratus anterior muscle

Serratus anterior
Serratus anterior
The left side of the thorax.
Gray's subject #122 438
Origin: fleshy slips from the outer surface of upper 8 or 9 ribs
Insertion: costal aspect of medial margin of the scapula
Artery: lateral thoracic artery (upper part), thoracodorsal artery (lower part)
Nerve: long thoracic nerve (from roots of brachial plexus C5, 6, 7)
Action: protract and stabilize scapula, assists in upward rotation.
Antagonist: Rhomboid major, Rhomboid minor, Trapezius
Dorlands/Elsevier m_22/12550741

The serratus anterior is a muscle that originates on the surface of the upper eight ribs at the side of the chest and inserts along the entire anterior length of the medial border of the scapula.



The serratus anterior is occasionally called the "boxer's muscle" because it is largely responsible for the protraction of the scapula—that is, the pulling of the scapula forward and around the rib cage that occurs when someone throws a punch. The serratus anterior also helps to stabilize the scapula. In addition, it assists in rotating the scapula (glenoid fossa) upward.


The serratus anterior is innervated by the long thoracic nerve, a branch of the brachial plexus. The long thoracic nerve travels inferiorly on the surface of the serratus. The nerve is especially vulnerable during certain types of surgery (for example, during lymph node clearance from the axilla). See winged scapula for more details.

Additional images

See also

  • Serratus posterior inferior muscle
  • Serratus posterior superior muscle
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Serratus_anterior_muscle". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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